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Leica M9 specifications

Price • US: $6,995 (body only)
• UK: £4,850 inc VAT (body only)

Compact digital viewfinder system camera for professional use with Leica M lenses.  Microprocessor-controlled metal blade slot shutter.

Body material

Enclosed all-metal body of highly stable magnesium alloy for professional use over many years.  Black synthetic leather coating. Top panel and bottom cover are milled from solid brass and are silver or black chromium plated. Available in Steel grey (10705) or Black (10704).

Sensor *

• 36 x 24 mm CCD sensor (by Kodak)
• 18 million effective pixels
• 18.5 million total pixels
• 6.8 x 6.8 µm pixel pitch
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Offset microlenses near frame corners
• No anti-alias filter (low pass filter)
• No FOV crop (same size as 35 mm negative)

Image sizes * • 5212 x 3472 (18 MP)
• 3840 x 2592 (10 MP)
• 2592 x 1728 (4.5 MP)
• 1728 x 1152 (2 MP)
• 1280 x 846 (1 MP)
File formats • DNG (RAW) 14-bit uncompressed (36 MB) * / 8-bit compressed (18 MB)
• JPEG (Fine / Basic)
Lens mount • Leica M bayonet
• Identification of 6-bit coded lenses
• Manual selection of lens type / focal length (internal database) *
Lens system

• Current 6-bit coded Leica M lenses of 16 - 135 mm focal length *

Lens coding • 6-bit lens coding system (detection can be disabled)
• Reduction of edge shadowing
• Identification of lens (recorded in JPEG EXIF / DNG)
• Auto slow-sync function in aperture priority mode
Incompatible lenses • Hologon 15 mm F8
• Summicron 50 mm F2 with close focusing
• Elmar 90 mm F4 with collapsible tube
• Some examples of the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 (not aspherical, manufactured from 1961–1995, Made in Canada) cannot be fitted to the LEICA M9 or will not focus to infinity. Leica Customer Service can modify these lenses so that they can be used on the Leica M9.
• Lenses with retractable tubes can only be used with their tubes extended otherwise you risk damaging the camera
Focusing • Manual focus via lens ring
• Superimposed focusing system via viewfinder
Exposure modes • Center-biased TTL exposure metering with preset aperture
• Light reflected from white and grey pattern * in center of blade slot shutter
• Silicon photodiode with collection lens
• Range: 0 to 20 EV
Exposure compen. • +/- 3.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
• SET menu / Rear dial / Rear dial with half-press *
Exposure bracketing * • No. of exposures: 3, 5 or 7
• Sequence: 0/+/- or -/0/+
• EV increments: 0.5 to 2.0 EV
Sensitivity * • AUTO ISO
• PULL 80
• ISO 160
• ISO 200
• ISO 250
• ISO 320
• ISO 400
• ISO 500
• ISO 640
• ISO 800
• ISO 1000
• ISO 1250
• ISO 1600
• ISO 2000
• ISO 2500
Auto ISO * • Slowest speed (Lens dependent or 1/8 - 1/125 sec)
• Max ISO (any ISO)
Shutter Microprocessor-controlled low-noise metal blade slot shutter with vertical action
Shutter cocking Using low-noise integral motor, optionally after releasing the shutter release button
Shutter speed • In aperture priority mode steplessly adjustable from 32 to 1/4000 sec
• Manually selectable from 4 to 1/4000 sec in 1/2 EV steps
• Bulb
Shutter dial • "Wrong way" shutter dial (same as M6 TTL / M7)
• Auto shutter speed position
• Bulb position
• 4 to 1/4000 sec in 1/2 EV steps
• 1/180 sec indicated as flash sync
Shutter release button • Three position soft-touch button
    1. Initiate metering
    2. Lock metered exposure
    3. Shutter release
• Advance modes *
    o Standard
    o Soft
    o Discreet
    o Discreet & Soft
Aperture Selected on lens
White balance • Auto
• Six presets
    o Tungsten
    o Fluorescent 1
    o Fluorescent 2
    o Daylight
    o Flash
    o Cloudy
    o Shadow
• Manual preset
• Kelvin color temperature (2000 - 13100 K)
• Preset white balance (immediate or from photo)
Color space * • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Image parameters • Sharpening (5): Off, Low, Standard, Medium High, High
• Saturation (7): Low, Medium Low, Standard, Medium High, High, B&W, Vintage *
• Contrast (5): Low, Medium Low, Standard, Medium High, High
User profiles Four available *
Viewfinder type • Large bright-line frame viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation
• Viewfinder optics with reduced sensitivity to scattered light and optimum visibility of the bright-line frame in all lighting situations
Viewfinder specification • Eyepiece matched to -0.5dpt, correction lenses form -3 to +3dpt available
• Enlargement: 0.68x for all lenses
Viewfinder bright-line frames * • Automatically matched for the lens used
    o 35 and 135 mm
    o 28 and 90 mm
    o 50 and 75 mm
• Automatic parallax correction
Size basis range finder

Combination of split and superimposed image range finder shown as a bright field in the centre of the viewfinder image.  Effective measurement basis 47.1 mm (mechanical measurement basis 69.25mm x viewfinder enlargement 0.68 x).

Viewfinder information • LED symbol for flash status
• Four-digit LED display with dots above and below
• Brightness automatically adjusted depending on ambient brightness
• Memory capacity warning when the SD card is full
• LED light balance with two triangular and one circular LED for manual exp
• Display of: underexposure by at least one aperture stop; underexposure by 1/2 aperture stop; correct exposure; overexposure by 1/2 aperture stop; overexposure by at least one aperture stop
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixel TFT
Flash control • Leica M-TTL flash compatible
• Short calibration pre-flash immediately before main exposure
• Connection: M-TTL guide number control with pre-flash
• Flash sync: 1/180 sec *
• Manual: Bulb to 1/180 sec *
• Auto slow sync: 1/focal length in seconds (only 6-bit coded lenses)
• Choice of long flash sync times up to 1/8 sec for balanced flash in aperture priority mode
• Sync: 1st or 2nd shutter point (front / rear sync)
• Compensation: +/- 3.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Shooting modes • Single picture (one shutter button depression, one picture)
• Continuous (2 frames per second up to 8 frames *)
• Self-timer (Off *, 2 or 12 second delay)
Folder management * • Select folder
• Create new folder
• Reset folder number
Play functions • Image (simple)
• Image with histogram and information
    o Histogram: standard / RGB
    o Clipping indication: on / off
    o Exposure information
    o Can magnify and browse
• Image magnify up to 1:1 (can browse)
• Thumbnail (4 or 9 image index)
• Page by page (9 image index)
• Protect
• Delete
Delete function • Single image
• All images
Protect / Unprotect function • Single image
• All images
Set quick access menu * • White Balance
• Compression
• Resolution
• Exposure compensation
• Exposure bracketing
• User profile
Languages • English
• German
• French
• Spanish
• Italian
• Japanese
• Chinese
• Russian *
Storage • Secure Digital / Secure Digital HC
• FAT / FAT32

• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (Mini-B connector)
• PTP / Mass storage *

Provided software • Adobe Lightroom 2 *
• Leica Digital Capture
Power • Lithium-Ion battery pack (3.7 V, 1900 mAh)
• Compact charger *
Dimensions 139 x 80 x 37 mm (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
Weight (inc. battery) * 589 g (1.3 lb)
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Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 21

Here we are, having just observed the announcement of the M246, the expected replacement for the M240 is being discussed, and we're still short full reviews of the M9 and the D4. :)

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting

I have a vision problem that causes not double but quintuple images. So for me, an excellent auto focus system is the only bridge between me and photography. I do not read it any where, does this mean the Leica M9 do not have this feature?
Thank you all and i do welcome suggestions.


No AF. Keep your money for something else.


Thank you boy, ;)


dear dp review.
Isnt it about time the actual review was published...I mean 3 years is a fair ol time to wait.

inevitable crafts studio

guys if you need an m9 review, just read the m8 review, and add the information of this preview as it covers the differences of those two.

i dont know whats the big deal about that, if some of you want to buy a 7k camera, why on earth would you base that on a review site anyway? ^^

i personally find the looks of the m9 ugly, i would like to have an m9 in an m8 body, i cant understand why they made this ugly cutout next to the viewfinder

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote

Leica is all about the glass, the digital version of the cameras and the sensor are below canon and nikon


What are you waiting for? It must be a very short review. Something like "It is the best camera"" (on every of the 25 pages), ""100% Platinum award!" at the end. And thats all.

Luta M

The best M9 review I have found so far is written by Danish photographer and writer Thorsten Overgaard:
I'm keeping a blog about my experiences with the M9 here:
There's some reviews on it as well, but the main thing about the blog is to show that it is possible to switch from a DSLR to a rangefinder and that it is fun, but hard work.


Well, thank You for introducing Scientology to dpreview !

Overgaard is an avid messiah all over the world.


Tom C.Ruise

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
inevitable crafts studio

his photos are not really an advertise his business^^ while the characteristics of the glass is clearly visible in some shots, the compositions are boring to extremely boring ..

this guy shoots like a tourist with a very expensive camera, that should be in the hands of a gifted unwealthy photog in my opinion

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio

oh and he is in scientology, well that explaines A LOT hehe

there is not one single gifted artist in this moronic club, at least i dont know any


dpreview is waiting for the M10 to be previewd ;-)


Yes.. should be a review by now. Probably not too many users but a lot of people that would really like to read it anyway. Need some Leica lens reviews too.

Jason Butler

2 years later and still no proper REVIEW. I've noticed a trend here at DPreview lately: lots of PREVIEWS but few REVIEWS. Lazy.


I Noticed that there is a Leica M9 Prizedraw cometition or whatver call you them



I wonder why we have never had a full test of the M9, just a preview?


Same here. Now they've come out with something so incredibly different in the form of the P model.


There's not much good to be said about the sensor I guess...

inevitable crafts studio

i guess the reasons are more that the m9 is essentially an m8 with upgraded sensor, and that potential m9 buyers do not go to dpreview to decide if they gonna buy it or not ^^

this is no mFT or slr where you could judge whether buying the panasonic 400€ version or the olympus 399€ version.

so anyone that wants an m9 allready owns another m, and knows whats in the box, also, i guess if you want to spend 7k on a camera body, the least thing you gonna do is visit a review site^^

at least for me, whespending that much money, i go to a shop and review it myself

Wang Man

I started with the M4, then the M6, now with the M9.
If you did not start early with Leica M cameras, you will find the M9 old school, manual focus, aperture setting, etc. I skipped the M8 and M8.2 because they did not have a full frame sensor.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
Total comments: 21